Vietnam’s State Bank found guilty of violating protocol

The recent scene at a dusty Inner Mongolia military base provided evidence of Chinese President Xi Jinping's consolidation of political power, even as he faces pushback from some quarters in his ruling Communist Party ahead of a critical gathering next month. Dressed in army fatigues, Xi reviewed a military parade on July 30 marking the 90th founding anniversary of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). Breaking with precedent at such events, Xi – who is head of the party and the military as well as president - did not share the stage with peers or party elders. PLA General Fan Changlong, in a further departure from the norm, hailed Xi as "lingxiu", or leader, a reverent honorific bestowed only on two others since the 1949 founding of the People's Republic of China: Chairman Mao Zedong and his short-lived successor, Hua Guofeng. According to six sources with ties to the leadership, as well as Chinese analysts and foreign diplomats, that display and others sent a clear signal of his increasingly dominant position in the runup to the Party's congress starting on Oct. 18, a meeting that is only held once every five years. Rana Mitter, director of the University of Oxford China Centre, said the "lingxiu" title would suggest Xi had succeeded in one of his key aims to "centralise as much authority and charisma under his own person" as possible. But as Xi's supporters promote his agenda, some party insiders, wary that he will accumulate too much power and effectively…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – Professor and Dr Nguyen Chi My, former director of the Ha Noi Department of Publicity and Training speaks to Ha Noi Moi (New Ha Noi) newspaper on the need to create a competitive environment to attract talented people to the civil service. Preparing personnel for key positions in the Party Central Committee is a very demanding job, isn’t it? I couldn’t agree more! There are many difficulties, including weaknesses in our personnel preparation. Though we have adopted a strategy of “three age groups” in the leadership, it is not easy to achieve the two objectives; namely that the junior group respects and shows gratitude to the senior group and vice versa and the senior group has confidence in the junior group. That’s why people often refer to the problem of money and relations first and then intelligence. In my opinion, we need to adopt a good strategy to foster personnel for key positions in the Party and Government. Recently the Party Politburo issued two decisions, numbers 89 and 90, on personnel work. In your opinion, how will these documents impact personnel preparation? In my opinion, the two documents should be considered good tools to evaluate potential candidates for future leadership. I’m confident that if these two documents are strictly implemented we’ll have competent and qualified future leaders. Furthermore, these two documents were released following the release of the Instruction by the fourth Party Central Committee (the 12th legislature) on the campaign to follow the late President Ho…... [read more]

Images of people desperately trying to cope with shoulder-high flood waters, torn up roads and smashed buildings gave a window into the lives of the ordinary citizens of Macau, a world away from chandeliered gambling halls. The storm last week left 10 dead and businesses and homes washed out in the territory's worst typhoon for over 50 years, sparking angry criticism by some residents who said authorities had failed to protect them. A corruption probe is now looking into whether the enclave's weather bureau failed to raise severe storm warning signals for fear of damaging casino trade. Macau is listed by Global Finance Magazine as the world's third-richest territory, based on data from the International Monetary Fund. But between eight and 10 percent of the local population -- around 50,000 people -- live in poverty, says global charity Caritas. Those who were already struggling in the city say they are now worse off after Hato. Wong Siu-yee is thankful her family escaped unhurt, but the loss of the family motorbike and car, which were washed away, left her with a bill of MOP$200,000 ($24,800). It is another setback for Wong who relies on her eldest son's salary and charity donations to supplement her monthly wage of between MOP$1,000 ($124) to $5,000 ($620), which she earns working part-time as a cleaner and caterer. "We hustle for our two meals each day...it's hard when you are a single mother," said Wong, in her late 40s. Since the storm, anxious Wong rations the…... [read more]

Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing”, a satire about shrinking humans to five inches tall as a solution to over-population and global warming, opened the Venice film festival on Wednesday. Actor Matt Damon and his wife Luciana pose during a red carpet for the movie "Downsizing" at the 74th Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy August 30, 2017. It kicked off days of screenings, parties and red carpet glamor at the world’s oldest film fest on the historic lagoon city’s Lido island. The movie, starring Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig, tells the story of financially-strapped occupational therapist Paul Safranek and his wife Audrey who decide to be downsized - a process that is irreversible - so they can be part of the affluent “small community” where money goes a lot further. Safranek is attracted by the idea of starting over, leaving problems behind and doing one’s bit for the planet in the process. But unlike the noble intentions that drove scientists to find a way to fight global warming, most of the people who sign up for the irreversible procedure are lured by the promise of being able to multiply their possessions and afford luxuries - from villas to diamond necklaces - they could normally only dream of. Soon Leisureland - the glass-covered downsized community where Safranek and his wife decide to move - turns into a micro version of today’s society, where corruption, wealth-disparity and people like Dusan Mirkovic, a party boy and smuggler of counterfeit goods played by Christoph Waltz, thrive.…... [read more]

The third APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM3) and related meetings wrapped up in Ho Chi Minh City on August 30 after 13 days of working.  The press conference following the closing of APEC SOM 3 in Ho Chi Minh City  Addressing a press conference the same day, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son, APEC 2017 SOM Chair, said the SOM3 and related meetings has the largest scale in the APEC Year 2017 with nearly 80 meetings and 3,000 delegates, including ministers, deputy ministers of APEC member economies, and representatives from APEC observers, international organisations and businesses.  He reviewed the SOM3, the High-Level Meeting on Health and the Economy, the Symposium on Promoting Economic, Financial and Social Inclusion in APEC and the SOM Dialogue on Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs)/Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in HCM City, along with the Food Security Week and the High-Level Policy Dialogue on Enhancing Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in response to Climate Change in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho.  The SOM3 and related meetings took place in the context of bright prospects for global and regional economy and trade, Son said, noting that the regional economic growth rate is forecast to surpass that of the global economy.  However, the widening development gaps between economies and within each economy and the occurrence of non-traditional security challenges such as natural disasters, diseases, population aging and climate change require the APEC to maintain its growth rate while strengthening its cooperation as well as connectivity to…... [read more]

NDO/ VNA – The third APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM3) and related meetings wrapped up in Ho Chi Minh City on August 30 after 13 days of working. Addressing a press conference the same day, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son, APEC 2017 SOM Chair, said the SOM3 and related meetings have the largest scale in the APEC Year 2017 with nearly 80 meetings and 3,000 delegates, including ministers, deputy ministers of APEC member economies, and representatives from APEC observers, international organisations and businesses. The SOM3 and related meetings took place in the context of bright prospects for global and regional economy and trade, Son said, noting that the regional economic growth rate is forecasted to surpass that of the global economy. However, the widening development gaps between economies and within each economy and the occurrence of non-traditional security challenges such as natural disasters, diseases, population aging and climate change require the APEC to maintain its growth rate while strengthening its cooperation as well as connectivity to benefit people and businesses more practically. The meetings mulled over a range of issues, from human resource development and structural reform to support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), anti-corruption, natural disaster response and business environment improvement. According to Son, the APEC economies affirmed their determination to bring pragmatic and specific interests to each economy, community and the business circle. Therefore, inclusive growth was debated at meetings of APEC committees and groups, covering economy, finance and…... [read more]

The Hà Nội People’s Court yesterday opened the first hearing in the case of ex-banker Hà Văn Thắm and other 50 defendants for serious violations of State monetary policies. — Photo vnexpress.net The Ha Noi People’s Court yesterday opened the first hearing in the case of ex-banker Ha Van Tham and other 50 defendants for serious violations of State monetary policies. The trial saw a recorded 727 people summoned, including civil plaintiffs, those who were involved in interests and duties, witnesses, and assessors. In one of the biggest economic crime cases in Viet Nam, Tham – former Chairman of the Board of the Ocean Commercial Joint Stock Bank (OceanBank) – and 50 other former executives and employees of the bank face charges of appropriating assets, breaching loan regulations of credit institutions, abusing power while on duty, and intentionally acting against State regulations on economic management causing serious consequences. Among the 51 defendants, seven were detained and 44 others were released on bail. According to the Supreme People’s Procuracy, Tham and his accomplices made many credit-related violations causing losses for the bank and seriously affecting the State’s monetary policies. Their violations resulted in losses of nearly VND2 trillion (US$88 million) for the bank. Specifically, while holding the highest position at the bank, Tham directed his subordinates to approve a loan for former Chairman of the Vietnam Construction Bank’s Board Pham Cong Danh without guaranteeing the lending conditions, collateral and proper purposes, causing losses…... [read more]

Former OceanBank Chairman Ha Van Tham in court (Source: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) - The People’s Court of Hanoi on August 28 opened the first instance hearing for former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ocean Commercial Joint Stock Bank (OceanBank) Ha Van Tham and other 50 defendants for serious violations of the State’s monetary policies. The trial saw the largest number of people being summoned, numbering 727, including civil plaintiffs, those who were involved in interests and duties, witnesses, and assessors. In one of the biggest economic crime cases in Vietnam, Tham and other 50 former executives  and employees of the bank are facing charges of appropriating assets, breaching loan regulations of credit institutions, abusing positions and power while on duty, and intentionally acting against State regulations on economic management causing serious consequences. Among 51 defendants, seven were detained and 44 others were out on bail. Of 57 lawyers defending the defendants, two pled for Tham and four others defended former OceanBank General Director Nguyen Xuan Son. Three were absent due to health reasons, including former Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Phu My investment and development company Hua Thi Phan, former Director of OceanBank’s accounting and domestic transaction unit Vu Thi Thuy Duong, and former Director of OceanBank’s Au Co transaction office Nguyen Viet Hien. According to the Supreme People’s Procuracy, when working as OceanBank’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, Tham and his accomplices…... [read more]

Hundreds of people were summoned to court in Hanoi on Monday as the much-anticipated Ocean Bank trial involving over $94 million in losses was resumed. The biggest courtroom in Hanoi was packed as Ha Van Tham, the private bank’s former chairman, stood behind bars with dozens of his subordinates. Defendants stand at the trial in Hanoi on Monday, including Ocean Bank's former chairman Ha Van Tham (R). Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Hoa Among the 51 defendants are former members of state oil and gas giant PetroVietnam, the central bank and Vietnam Construction Bank, which was taken over by the government in 2015 following continued losses. Around 700 other people including more than 50 lawyers and hundreds of those who had benefited from the misuse of money were also in court. Given the number of attendants, the trial could go down in history as one of the biggest in Vietnam. It also broke into New York Times’ morning update of things you should know to start the day. The case was brought to trial for the first time in February but was adjourned after the judge ordered further investigations. Following the new probe, Tham is further charged with embezzling property, besides counts of “breaking regulations on lending activities at credit institutions” and “deliberately violating state regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences”. Ha Van Tham, former chairman of Ocean Bank, is escorted to court in Hanoi in February. Photo by VnExpress The new indictment also brings in four new defendants, including Pham Cong Danh,…... [read more]

Hundreds of people were summoned to court in Hanoi on Monday as the much-anticipated Ocean Bank trial involving over $94 million in losses was resumed. The biggest courtroom in Hanoi was packed as Ha Van Tham, the private bank’s former chairman, stood behind bars with dozens of his subordinates. Defendants stand at the trial in Hanoi on Monday, including Ocean Bank's former chairman Ha Van Tham (R). Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Hoa Among the 51 defendants are former members of state oil and gas giant PetroVietnam, the central bank and Vietnam Construction Bank, which was taken over by the government in 2015 following continued losses. Around 700 other people including more than 50 lawyers and hundreds of those who had benefited from the misuse of money were also in court. Given the number of attendants, the trial could go down in history as one of the biggest in Vietnam. It also broke into New York Times’ morning update of things you should know to start the day. The case was brought to trial for the first time in February but was adjourned after the judge ordered further investigations. Following the new probe, Tham is further charged with embezzling property, besides counts of “breaking regulations on lending activities at credit institutions” and “deliberately violating state regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences”. Ha Van Tham, former chairman of Ocean Bank, is escorted to court in Hanoi in February. Photo by VnExpress The new indictment also brings in four new defendants, including Pham Cong Danh,…... [read more]




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